Back to School: Driving Tips for Teens

Back to School: Driving Tips for Teens
  • Opening Intro -

    In early 2020, our schedules were full, roads were as busy as ever, and the morning rush to and from school was an everyday obstacle course.

    Then, March came.

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The world hit pause and we were thrown into a global pandemic. Workplaces closed and restaurants only took takeout orders. Teachers downloaded Zoom and teens stopped their drive to and from school. The world was forced to make their agenda fit the size of a computer screen.

Now, more than a year later, the vaccine becomes increasingly more available and we can finally entertain some semblance of normalcy. Teens will be going back to school amidst the rest of the reopening world.

Inexperienced drivers will return to (or enter for the first time) the morning and evening rush hour and the busy weekend afternoons. After a year of staying glued to a screen, teens will only be more habitually distracted, resulting in a higher risk of car accidents and potential fatalities

Before you decide to drive distracted, consider the following statistics.

Teen Driving Statistics

Driving as a teen already puts you at an experiential disadvantage. That, combined with distracted driving behaviors, has prompted some alarming statistics over the years.

  1. Car crashes are the leading cause of death and disability to teens.
  2. The deadliest days on the road have occured on clear, sunny days.
  3. 78% of teenage crash deaths in 2019 were passenger vehicle occupants.
  4. About 2 of every 3 teenagers killed in crashes in 2019 were males.
  5. The risk of fatal crashes go up in direct relation with the number of teens in a car.
  6. 28% of teen crashes in 2019 involved speeding.

Distracted driving is putting more than the driver at risk. Next time you get in the car, limit your exposure to fatalities by doing the following things:

Wear a Seatbelt

In 2018, the CDC reported that almost half of the teens, ages 16-19, that died in fatal car accidents died while unrestrained. The element of a secured seatbelt can be the reason you survive a car accident.

Put Your Phone On Do-Not-Disturb

Eliminate the temptation of hearing your phone receive notifications and silence your phone while you drive like you would for a movie. If you’re an Apple user, there’s a way to set this up automatically. Follow these steps below:

phone instruction

Don’t Drive Late at Night

Teenage motor vehicle crashes in 2018 were found to occur most commonly between 9:00 PM and midnight.

Abide by the Graduated Drivers License Program in Your State

Many states limit a new driver’s freedom on the road for a set period of time with a graduated drivers license (GDL) program. This often sets a driving curfew, restricts the amount of passengers in your car, or requires driving supervision. These protocols are in your best interest and are designed to help you ease into the unpredictable experience driving can sometimes be.

Do Not Depend On Other Drivers

Despite your effort to be a safe driver on the road, other driver’s can’t always be held to the same standard. Assuming that the other driver is going to move out of your way, or slow down and allow you to merge, isn’t always the reality.

other related articles of interest:

Put Safety First

For many drivers, it’s hard to control road rage after being cut off. For others, it might be difficult to curb intense feelings of irritability in heavy traffic. Maybe the anxiety some people feel when they’re late can get the best of them.

Point is, these emotional triggers should not prompt you to take physical action while driving a car. Coming out of your drive alive and safe should remain at the forefront of your decision-making on the road.

If you’re gearing up for driving to and from school every day, these tips should help you protect yourself and those around you. Should you find yourself overwhelmed or easily distracted while driving, it’s always recommended that you pull over to collect yourself rather than give into erratic or distracted driving behaviors.

Keep your eyes on the road, your hands on the wheel, and stay safe.

Image Credit: driving tips for teens by envato.com

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